Home is where the art is

Cultural Heart People of Adelaide

Why do artists choose to live, work and produce in Adelaide? Two locals share a little of their creative journey, some advice for up-and-comers and why they intend staying right where they are.

Kaspar Schmidt Mumm, artist

Artist kaspar schmidt mumm photo jessica clark
photo-icon Jessica Clark

My relationship with art began with traditional crafts and painting, but my work took me through mentorships in poetry and street art as well as graphic and environmental design. Currently, my work involves performances of music and poetry in hand-built installations with narratives and memories stemming from my childhood.

My love of art comes from an inability to conform and a desire to express myself. I was born in Germany but come from Pakistani and Canadian heritage and was raised in Adelaide. This culturally diverse upbringing inspired me to try and create an artistic language to cross borders and cultural boundaries: to develop an aesthetic and ethic for the international citizen. I generally present my work at obscure venues like abandoned buildings and clubs, as well as the City of Adelaide Art Pod and Floating Goose Studios Inc. I live to create environments where people can feel free to express themselves as a community, and believe my greatest accomplishment is involving my friends, family and community in my practice.

Despite having connections to many cities across the world, I choose to live and create in Adelaide. I love the weather, freedom and environment the city, and South Australia, provides me. This is my home and I want to see it continue to bloom into a beautiful artistic place. I feel humbled to be part of an evolving artistic community and privileged that the number of people attending my events continues to grow.

The City of Adelaide has been continually supportive of my practice. They offer the best opportunities for the Adelaide arts community to create a rich, artistic city. Last year we ran a free event at SMOCK in Hindley Street which showcased work by over 15 local and international artists. The City of Adelaide provided financial assistance through a Quick Response grant.

Tip for creatives: Play. Don't work. Play. Art isn't a job or a commodity: it’s an exploration of ideas and community. It’s about how you can create conversations between cultures and traditions in your city.

Cayleigh Davies, The Human Arts Movement

Cayleigh davies dancing photo by chris herzfeld
photo-icon Chris Herzfeld

I began dancing at a very young age and have always wanted to have a career in the industry. I started with ballet, then found my true passion in contemporary dance which led me to a Bachelor of Dance Performance at Adelaide College of Arts. After graduating, I became a member of a local dance collective, The Human Arts Movement (THAM), which I now co-direct alongside Rita Bush, Cazna Brass and Peter Vayne.

Dance inspires me greatly, but so does nature: its importance, diversity and how it affects people. This impacts how I work as a dance artist, and I enjoy exploring themes around nature. Environmental sustainability was the theme for my show in[nate]ture, which THAM presented in the First Creek Wetland at the 2017 Adelaide Fringe. This was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life: creating, organising and performing my own work - then winning two awards for it!

I’ve spent most of my life in Adelaide and am passionate about seeing the arts thrive in our city. Being internationally recognised as the ‘Festival State’ makes South Australia a great place to live. I want to base myself here so I’m able to represent Adelaide on the global stage, and show other local artists that there are opportunities to work and create here. Maintaining networks with other artists and supporting each other through collaborating on projects really does bring the city to life and encourages people to stay here long term.

With the support of Splash Adelaide, this April we are featuring Cazna’s work Detour. This free event will be held in a public CBD space, and is one of many exciting developments planned for 2018.

Tip for creatives: Be dedicated to and passionate about your art form, be true to yourself and take all opportunities – you never know where they might lead you! I’ve learned that following what inspires you can lead to great achievements and enables you to find your own artistic voice.

Article by

Skye Murtagh

Skye Murtagh

Skye is Adelaide Living's main driving force. She is passionate about sharing stories from all walks of life. When she's not busy weaving beautiful words together, she's singing a line or two from her favourite song.